Fallout as Siteserv inquiry 'could take eight years'

Denis O'Brien

Denis O'Brien

Kevin Doyle

A suggestion in a draft interim report in the Commission of Investigation into IBRC that the probe could take up to eight years has been met with astonishment.

Bodies who are party to the inquiry are prohibited by law from discussing the contents of the interim report before its publication, but a well-placed source said: "Getting proper engagement from people will be impossible if it drags on for that long."

The Irish Independent revealed yesterday that Mr Justice Brian Creagan, who is the sole member of the investigation, wants Taoiseach Enda Kenny to assign a second judge to help him study 38 IBRC sales, each of which involved write-offs of more than €10m.

His interim report is also understood to say that it will take "several years" before any detailed report can be produced. The judge is believed to have given a timeframe of seven to eight years to get through the workload.

The original deadline set by the Government when the commission was set up was the end of this year.

"The investigation is looking at transactions that took a few months to complete, so it's hard to comprehend that it would take years," said a source.

Controversy surrounding the sale of contracting firm Siteserv to Denis O'Brien's Millington, with a write-down of €119m, sparked calls for the commission to be set up last summer.

However, it is understood that the interim report, which is expected to be sent to the Taoiseach next week, does not mention Siteserv specifically.